How social media can help grow your business

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Social media: love it or hate it, it’s a powerful mechanism to grow your business. Whether your business’s goal is to elevate brand awareness or drive sales, social media is a highly effective, targeted, cost-effective and measurable way to do so.


“It’s also great for engaging with existing and prospective customers and building a community around your brand,” says Pauline Pillay, Chief Operating Officer, Santam Broker Solutions.


As of January this year, there were 25.80 million social media users in South Africa, and that number is growing at a rapid rate. With almost double, 43.48 million internet users in the country, there’s plenty of room for growth. That’s a lot of potential eyeballs on your brand, product or service – the opportunities are endless!


According to Pillay, it’s clear from the previous Women of the Future campaigns that marketing is an essential function to help small businesses reach their customers, yet so often there just isn’t enough budget available to make a meaningful impact. But that isn’t the case with social media marketing where a meaningful impact can be achieved on a shoestring budget, among multiple other benefits.


Benefits of social media marketing:


  • Opportunity to sell your business and/or personal brand and showcase expertise.
  • Build trust by publishing educational content that relates to your products/services and that adds value to your customers (and potential customers).
  • Increase your online presence, grow your network with followers who are aligned to your brand, and engage with your audience.
  • Collaborate with other brands, influencers and communities.
  • Opportunity to collect customer data through polls and call-to-action posts.
  • Audience segmentation for targeted posts – reach whom you want to reach.
  • Performance of every post is measurable and click-throughs to business websites are fully trackable.



How to choose the right platform


The first thing to consider is which social media platform is best suited to your business. Of course, you could have multiple platforms, but it’s probably best to focus on one or at most, two if you’re just starting out. Once you have a handle on managing it and you’ve run a couple of campaigns, you’ll be able to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t and go from there.


According to the 2023 Social Media Landscape Report, Facebook is still the most popular social media platform with 56.7% usage, next is TikTok with 30.6% (predominantly youth), then Instagram with 27.6%, followed by Twitter with 22.5% and LinkedIn rounds out the top five with 14.7%.



Our top recommendations:


  • Facebook: is by far the most popular platform among businesses, probably because it’s the most widely used social media platform and it has the most engaged audience. It’s also versatile because you can use text, images or a combination of the two to deliver your campaigns.
  • Instagram: this is a highly visual platform and works well if what you’re selling is best demonstrated with images or video. It’s also a popular platform for collaborating with other brands and influencers.
  • LinkedIn: this is a great platform for business-to-business brand building and if your customers are other businesses or professionals, this is where you want visibility. It’s great for expanding your network and showcasing your industry credentials among your peers through thought leadership as well as identifying potential business partnerships.
  • WhatsApp: a business WhatsApp account allows you to create segmented broadcast lists to targeted audience groups. This is basically a free sms marketing platform. Share news on specials, new products and much more with your verified database.
  • Google Business Listing: improve your online visibility by creating a free Google Business Profile. Your business will appear in more Google searches and on Google Maps. It’s interactive, you can enable direct messaging, customers can leave reviews and you can respond to them.


It’s important to remember that social media is a two-way street, you must always consider your audience and how you can add value to them. And to make sure you don’t risk your brand’s reputation, developing a social media policy to share with all employees is always a good idea.



Here are some social media etiquette norms to follow:


  • Always be respectful and respectable
  • Don’t post too often
  • Don’t be overly promotional: use the right mix of entertaining, educational and promotional content.
  • Be responsive, not reactive – never get into an argument on social media
  • Don’t bad mouth competitors
  • Don’t use too many hashtags
  • Credit sources



If you’d like to protect your business’s hard-earned growth with insurance that is designed for businesses, talk to us!